St Andrews Church, Wickhambreaux.

Dave Godden

Maidstone, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

The interior of this very pretty church is dominated by nineteenth-century work. The whole of the chancel and baptistry is lined with dark brown encaustic tiles, hiding a straightforward fourteenth-century church. The east window is an early example of American Art Nouveau in England, and dominates the entire building. It was designed by Baron Arild Rosenkrantz in 1896. Above the window are stencilled paintings of angels ascending, which can also be seen in the nave, whilst the roof there has a charming star-spangled sky. At the south-west corner is a vestry – screened off by an eighteenth-century screen which may have formed part of the refitting of the chancel paid for by Mary Young. Her monument in the chancel records that ‘infirm from her youth she protracted life to the 68th year of her age’. She left £100 for wainscotting and ornamenting the chancel.

Visitors from the USA to Wickhambreaux Church have been, and surely will in future be interested to know that the great east window was dedicated in 1896 to the memory of Harriet Duer Gallatin by her son Count James Gallatin of New York. It was in New York that the design was first exhibited, and where it attracted great attention. The Gallatin family came originally from Savoy, and Harriet Gallatin’s husband’s grandfather, Albert Gallatin was born in Geneva in 1761.

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